Us neither, but starting on October 15th supersized Tokyo amusement park Yomiuriland is debuting an ‘amusement workation’, offering itself as an office away from the office, for professionals disgruntled with working from home.
Normally rammed with revellers rushing between rides, and, at the right time of year, bundles of perfect pink cherry blossoms, the park’s finances have been savaged by coronavirus, so operators are getting creative to make ends meet.
— よみうりランド遊園地【公式】 (@yomiuriland_com) October 5, 2020
For 1,900 yen (€15) per person per day (or 3,600 for a pair – €29), guests can set up shop in a poolside ‘work booth’, complete with desks, wi-fi and plug sockets. So far, nothing to write home about, but the headline act comes in the form of the park Ferris wheel, from which guests can work for up to an hour at a time, taking in panoramic views over Tokyo and beyond.
And when the working day is done, they will be able to enjoy the rest of the rides – laser tab, a haunted house, botanical gardens, and, of course, roller coasters – for a little extra cost. At present, the passes are available only to Japanese citizens.
It’s not the first time Japanese theme parks have drawn national attention for their coronavirus measures. In May, the East & West Japan Amusement Park Associations, which administer a host of parks, raised eyebrows the world over by requesting that guests “refrain from vocalising loudly” on their coasters – ie. no screaming.
The park is not the first overseas establishment to dabble in working holidays either. Last month a resort in the Maldives unveiled a $23,250 (€19,900) remote ‘workation package’, which supplies a luxurious poolside villa, daily meditation classes, a dedicated personal assistant, unlimited food and drink, and a work station atop a sandbank.
How will you enforce no screaming on roller coasters? What’s the penalty if you scream? Is there a consent form before embarking? If I don’t scream but someone else does, do I at least get my ticket reimbursed? Is there a wimp test to disqualify those who don’t deserve to get on?
— Yuri Kageyama (@yurikageyama) May 29, 2020
For longer term options, entire nations have adopted ‘remote working visas’, in an attempt to lure bored homeworkers who can do their jobs just as effectively from a seaside villa as from their front room. Otherwise heavily dependent on tourism, the Caribbean islands of Barbados, Antigua and Aruba have all thrown their hats into the ring.
Though Europe’s theme parks remain comparatively commuter-free, enterprising pubs, restaurants and cafes across the continent have also weathered the downturn by transforming into office space by day.